The Triumph Spitfire is adorable. It’s perky. It’s sweet. And that’s exactly why it needs a screaming, searing, sky-splitting, pavement-melting turbine engine from a helicopter. The appropriately named StanceWorks forums member godzillus is installing a 320-horsepower Allison T63C18 turbine into a rusty Spitfire as you read this post. Oh, and it’s a senior design project for engineering school. Who said school isn’t any fun?
Some perspective: The Spitfire was designed in 1957 by Giovanni Michelotti and was based on the sedate Triumph Herald saloon. It was a nimble, fun and very pretty little roadster produced from 1962 to 1980. Originally it was equipped with a torquey little 1.1 liter (1,147 cc) push-rod inline four. By 1974 the engine had grown to a respectable 1.5 liters (1493 cc). It never weighed more than 1750 pounds. Imagine then, a proper little British roadster with a 320-horsepower turbine engine that tops out at 53,000 rpm and generates 425 ft-lbs of torque at idle. Running stock suspension and brakes. Yep.
godzillus tells us, via the StanceWorks thread, that he and a team of students are building the beast as a senior design project for (the world’s most awesome) engineering school. They say they’re doing it to test a digital turbine controller, but come on. We all know they’re doing it in the name of hoons everywhere.
The team received the car as a gift from the local Triumph club and they’re borrowing the Allison turbine, which retails for more than $250,000. The students have scraped together $3,000 for the build, which is mostly going into fabricating parts for the engine swap, a roll cage and safety equipment. Thus there’s no extra cash for upgraded brakes and suspension. Sadly, the team “will never get to drive this thing in anger,” says godzillus.
As you can see from the pics below, the team has already made great progress. They’ve patched the rusty bits, sprayed the car with primer and have mocked up the engine in the car. They’ve also created some trick 3D CAD files to design the seven-inch exhaust that will no doubt leave burn marks on the asphalt. Heck, if we’re lucky, the exhaust may even light the asphalt on fire.
Godzillus, on behalf of the entire Ridelust readership, I demand a video of this masterpiece ripping a hole in the space-time continuum!